From the Class Note mailbag: DMU researchers

Pioneering students in the Class of 1986 showed osteopathic students were capable of advanced research.

Darwin Schossow, D.O., Rick Hecker, D.O., FAOCA, Don Benson, D.O., and Daniel Deavers, Ph.D., professor (now emeritus) of physiology and pharmacology, posed for the photo above in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (COMS) of the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (now DMU) in Deavers’ physiology laboratory in November 1984. The students, members of the COMS Class of 1986, and their professor de novo designed and completed multiple experiments with canines using standardized, machine-driven cardiopulmonary resuscitation and formally documented cranial blood flow with fluorescein photoangiography.

Several meeting presentations and multiple peer-reviewed publications emerged from their research, which was supported by a $5,000 grant from the COMS dean’s office.

“Although DMU has a renewed interest in hard science research with clinical applications, there were pioneering students in the 1980s who went above and beyond their normal course work to show that osteopathic students were capable of advanced research,” writes Hecker, a senior aviation medical examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration in Bulverde, TX.

Hecker also was a pioneering U.S. Army physician assistant prior to attending COMS. Schossow had been a registered respiratory therapist, and Benson was an emergency room registered nurse before they enrolled in the college.

“The practice in the 1980s of COMS allowing mature medical professionals to seek a D.O. degree set the stage for future applicants who would go on to great careers in medicine,” Hecker says.

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